Martin, Lera propel Mavs in own invite

Colorado Mesa University’s Brooke Lera performs a back 11/2 pike during the 1-meter diving competition Saturday at the Colorado Mesa University Invitational at El Pomar Natatorium.

Colorado Mesa University diver Brock Martin didn’t have the most productive week.

Rather than a good week of practice leading into the Colorado Mesa University Invitational, the All-American sophomore got to stay home with a sore throat and stomach cramps. He only practiced twice.

But in the big picture, it hardly mattered.

Martin, CMU’s only active male diver, had no problem winning Saturday’s 1- and 3-meter diving competitions on the first day of the two-day meet.

He finished with 299.2 points in the 1-meter competition and 276.7 points in the 3-meter. His closest competition came from Metro State’s Josh Barron, who had scores of 233.35 and 219.5, respectively.

“I think I did pretty well for how the week went,” said Martin, who woke up feeling ill but felt better by the time diving started about 1 p.m.

“It went away as the morning went away. I just had to warm up for it to go away.”

The meet, which continues today with swimming preliminaries at 9:30 a.m., also had swimming finals Saturday night.

With the help of Martin’s wins, CMU took three of the four diving events Saturday. Freshman Brooke Lera won the women’s 3-meter diving and placed second in the 1-meter event for the Mavericks.

For Martin, the key was consistency.

In the 1-meter, each of his dives averaged about 50 points. Although he only held a two-point lead over Metro’s Abdul Yacubu after the second round, his consistency in his final four dives allowed him to win the championship.

In the 3-meter, though, he initially faltered because of a mistake that earned him only 18.6 points for his first dive.

The dive he executed was a forward 31⁄2 tuck, but the scoreboard listed his dive as a pike. Because of the difference, he was awarded only 2 points per judge of the dive’s 3.1 degree of difficulty.

“It was a slip-up with the dive card,” CMU diving coach Chuck Edjar said. “He wrote one letter wrong and it caused the confusion. I should have caught it as his coach and a judge.”

After the mistake, Martin came back with strong dives, including his third, a reverse 21⁄2 tuck that earned 53.2 points, and his fourth, a 55.3-point inward 21⁄2 tuck that gave him the lead.

On the women’s side, Mesa’s four divers, all freshmen, finished in the top seven places.

Lera was the top finisher for the Mavericks. She won the 3-meter event with 246.15 points and took second place in the 1-meter with 227.95 points. Colorado School of Mines diver Marah Moore won the 1-meter with 242.25 points and took second in the 3-meter with 234.45 points.

Lera’s 3-meter score was just more than 19 points from the national six-dive qualifying score of 265.

Savannah Craft took fourth in the 1-meter and fifth in the 3-meter. Amanda Jennings did the reverse, placing fourth in the 3-meter and fifth in the 1-meter. Rachel McLaughlin took sixth in the 1-meter and seventh in the 3-meter.

Lera said the divers’ success so far has caught some of their teammates off guard.

“I think they didn’t expect us to help the team so much and we really are,” she said.

Edjar said the women motivate each other by executing.

“The girls, while they’re the best of friends, they have a lot in common obviously, there is a quiet competitiveness that goes on with them,” he said.

“It’s more like when one girl achieves a dive, the other girls want to achieve that dive, too. They want to learn it and get it as well.

“It’s that kind of competition versus ‘I finished ahead of you by two points.’ That’s not at all what we’re about.”


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